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Sep 03

12/01/18 - Holiday Recycling

Posted on September 3, 2020 at 3:18 PM by Jacob Smith

For many, the month of December brings new recycling challenges. Holiday items, décor, and batteries often leave people wondering what to do with them. We'd like to go over the items that often are the center of many debates at home!

Holiday Lights

Holiday lights are a tradition that provides a sense of awe and adds to the festivities. If your lights have lost that twinkle, please do not place them in your recycling cart or at your community recycling drop-off center. At their end of use, place them in the trash.

A gift wrapped in sparkling red paper with a gold ribbon bow on top


Packaging. There is a great deal of this material at the Holidays. Let's start with an easy one: cardboard. As long as your cardboard is flattened and not wet, please recycle it. Remove all Styrofoam and plastics and place these non-cardboard items into your trash.

Bows & Ribbons

Bows and ribbons. It is best to either reuse them or place them into the trash. Bows are very easy to reuse. Simply save them and when you reuse them, just use some tape to keep them onto the package.

Ribbons are something that is considered a "tangler." Tanglers at a recycling facility wrap themselves around equipment and cause problems. Ribbons need to be trashed if they can't be reused.

Gift Wrap & Bags

The way most gift wrap is made keeps it from being recyclable at home or at community drop-off centers. One tip is to reduce what you use of this type of wrapping or perhaps use something else to wrap a gift. (i.e. "wrap" a gift in a t-shirt or a gift bag.) Speaking of gift bags, please reuse them as well.

Plastic Storage Tubs

Plastic storage tubs. If you are like most people you have a few of these tubs at home filled with holiday decorations. Over time, they develop cracks and to keep these memories safe, you purchase a new tub.

Plastic tubs need to be placed in the trash at the end of their usefulness. Please don't recycle them at the curb or at community drop-off centers.


One last item to mention is batteries. So many toys, devices, and holiday décor use them. First, it is best to use rechargeable batteries. When buying a gift that needs batteries, perhaps include rechargeable batteries and their charger.

However, most importantly: never place any batteries in your recycling cart. Batteries can be a fire hazard at recycling facilities. For more information, please visit our Materials with Options Other Than HHWRC page.